Renaissance Ranch

The Importance of Setting Realistic Goals

Sep 18, 2021

The Importance of Setting Realistic Goals

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Entering treatment brings with it many challenges. One of those challenges is addressing how to face your old life after treatment ends and when you are pursuing recovery out of the safety zone of a recovery center. Thinking about approaching those situations is a key reason for creating goals for yourself for when treatment ends.

Setting goals and making plans requires willingness and openness to assess the triggers that make you more likely to relapse and use alcohol or other substances. While recovery is not a straight road but has many ups and downs, the way to avoid relapse is to have goals and plans in place to help you avoid relapse.

5 Things to Remember When Setting Goals

#1. Do Not Think Life Will Go Back to Normal

You will have just completed some of the most difficult work of your life, and returning to your life outside of treatment will be even more difficult as you navigate how to keep yourself from relapse and live the life you want. So many times in recovery, you will hear the advice to avoid people, places, and things. This advice means that you will need to change your definition of normal. You may need to develop new friendships and change where you go after work. Your new normal will not involve the use of alcohol and other substances, and changing your life will take time and an understanding of your limitations.

#2. You Have the Power to Make Change Happen 

Remember that you are in charge of your life now. Your substance use disorder is no longer in charge, and you will have identified how to make changes. Post-treatment is when those changes will effectively take place. During treatment, you need to identify your triggers and develop plans on how to effectively either avoid those triggers or address them to ensure your recovery. You are in charge of your own life.

#3. Consider Avoiding New Romantic Relationships

Focusing on your recovery will take all of who you are, and maintaining relationships is difficult. If you are already in a relationship, you will need to relearn how to navigate the ups and downs in a different way. If you are not in a relationship, post-treatment is a time to figure out who you are and what you want from your life in recovery. Opening yourself up to new stressors might set you up for failure.

#4. You Will Need Support

The old adage of 90 meetings in 90 days might be beneficial to remember in this time of post-treatment. You will need support as you begin life outside treatment. Find meetings and keep going until you find a home group and a sponsor that can meet with you regularly and provide the support and accountability you need. Support is essential as you learn to balance recovery with your life.

#5. Do Not Expect Perfection

Your life will be different from before treatment, but life will not be perfect. You will still have a great deal of work to do. You will be balancing work, social situations, family, living arrangements, and your recovery all at once. While in treatment, so much of this is managed for you. However, when you leave treatment, you will have to relearn how to live life with alcohol and other substances, and life might be difficult.

Learning how to set goals for yourself is a key part of the treatment process, and understanding what will detract from your recovery will need to be faced in treatment to better adapt to your life of recovery after treatment. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer a wide variety of ways to address those goals and provide after-treatment support through the Band of Brothers.

During treatment, you will learn to identify situations that will detract from your recovery and emotions that will trigger you. As part of treatment, you will need to focus on whole healing. Whole healing involves spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and social health elements to ensure you are ready to re-enter your life post-treatment.

Setting goals does not have to be difficult. Think about specifics and how you will know you have achieved them. Another thing to think about is when you will want to have accomplished those goals. Perhaps you want to have a home group soon after leaving treatment. Having a specific goal (determining a home group) and having a measurement method (by a specific day) will help you know if you achieve it.

Goals do not have to be overwhelming. Start small and build.

Determining goals during treatment is necessary so you can adequately face life post-treatment. You need those skills and you can learn them while you are in treatment. You deserve to know how to set attainable goals and not be overwhelmed by life after treatment. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer support in goal-setting throughout every stage of the recovery process. We begin detoxification and help you make solid plans even before discharge. We offer resources for help in the community and through a supportive network of brothers to help you stay accountable upon discharge. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer a clinically driven and gospel-centered approach to offer healing of your whole self so you can better face the world when you leave. If you or someone you know needs help overcoming addiction, now might be the time to seek it out. Set a goal for overcoming addiction. Reach out to Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898 and start your recovery today.